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Academic Plan 2011

Executive Summary

Reach Carolina, the 2011 Academic Plan for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, proposes principles and concrete steps by which faculty, students, and staff can attain levels of accomplishment and distinction befitting Carolina’s mission as a leading public university. Recognizing the challenges that budget cuts and the extended recession have placed before us, we set out priorities for the next decade that are boldly aspirational yet grounded in our traditions.

The Plan consists of six interlocking priorities. The first recommends ways to ensure that every student at Carolina — undergraduate, graduate, and professional — will have a transformational academic experience here. To reach this goal, we urge the expansion of the First-Year Seminar program, re-engineered lecture courses on major problems and issues of the world, renewed commitments to retention and timely graduation, new academic trajectories, and additional means of challenging our students to aspire to excellence.

The irreducible ingredient for transformative student experiences is our faculty. Carolina must make strategic investment in faculty a priority. This Plan calls on the University to pursue fair and appropriate funding for compensation, benefits, child care, and retirement for faculty and staff, while bolstering programs that enable faculty to reach their full potential as teachers, scholars, artists, researchers, and leaders.

As pressing problems throughout the world demand collaborative, cross-disciplinary solutions, the Plan exhorts UNC-Chapel Hill to make the creative integration of disciplines a priority across the campus. We recommend enhanced facilities, technological systems, and administrative support to foster interdisciplinary activity, including strategically allocated support for short- and long-term exploration in interdisciplinary research and teaching.

To reach the goals laid out in this Plan, Carolina must become a community in which all students, faculty, and staff can achieve the best of which they are capable. Achieving equity and inclusion on our campus means taking thoughtful, well-funded steps that demonstrate our commitment to welcome and respect difference as a vital ingredient of creative change.

Because the University exists to serve not only its students but also the state, nation, and the world, Reach Carolina embraces enthusiastically a comprehensive approach to engagement that will recognize, stimulate, and reward excellence in teaching and research on the part of all members of the campus community. Enhancing Carolina’s global presence — by attracting more faculty with international expertise, augmenting opportunities for global research, and expanding opportunities for students to have an international experience — remains a University priority in this Academic Plan.

The Plan envisions an Implementation Committee, composed of faculty, students, staff, and administrators, that will use Reach Carolina as a blueprint for future programmatic and budgetary planning. We call for an annual report from the Provost’s office that will keep the community informed of our progress in implementing Reach Carolina.

Academic Plan Steering Committee


Bill Andrews, Steering Committee Co-chair, Senior Associate Dean, Fine Arts and Humanities and E. Maynard Adams Professor, English and Comparative Literature

Sue Estroff, Steering Committee Co-Chair, Professor, Social Medicine

Larry Band, Voit Gilmore Distinguished Professor, Geography

Holly Boardman, Co-chair, Academic Affairs Committee of Student Government

Jane Brown, James L. Knight Professor, Journalism and Mass Communication (through 6/30/2011)

Regina Carelli, Stephen B. Baxter Distinguished Professor and Associate Department Chair, Psychology

McKay Coble, Chair of the Faculty and Professor, Dramatic Art

Lloyd Edwards, Associate Professor, Biostatistics

Steve Farmer, Associate Provost and Director, Undergraduate Admissions

Maryann Feldman, S.K. Heninger Distinguished Professor, Public Policy

Keith Lee, President, Graduate and Professional Student Federation and doctoral student, Computer Science

Melinda Manning, Assistant Dean of Students, Student Affairs

Rick Mumford, Clinical Associate Professor, Dental Ecology, Dentistry

Warren Newton, William B. Aycock Distinguished Professor and Chair, Family Medicine

Lou Perez, J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor, History and Director, Institute of the Americas

Shruti Shah, Chair, Chancellor’s Student Innovation team

Ron Strauss, Executive Associate Provost and Dental Friends Distinguished Professor, Dentistry

David Bevevino, Assistant to the Committee, Class of 2010